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Most people have love-hate relationships with their bodies, and I'm no different—although it's not for the reasons one might think. I don't hate the stretch marks that I bear as a result of having my children, and I don't get too upset over the venetian-blind effect that characterizes my tummy every time I slouch our bend.
No—my issue is with my backside. For some reason, having children has caused my bum to go all flat and droopy.
Now, I expected that my belly would be a bit loose after stretching to accommodate the equivalent of a small watermelon. I also knew that my boobs would begin their migration to what will surely be their final resting place—just north of my belly button. But I never thought my bum would go from "bootylicious" to "bootylifeless."
I first learned of the unfortunate situation plaguing my backside when a friend happened to catch a shot of my rump at a child's birthday party.
Seriously—he could have just told me my butt was sticking out. It would have been a lot less traumatic for all involved.
Needless to say, those jeans were donated to Goodwill. It cheers me to think that some other gal can now unwittingly flash her butt crack every time she bends over...and for only six dollars (what a bargain)! I have since been guilty of buying those dreaded high-waisted jeans that most women avoid.
But there's one side effect of my new condition that I never could have anticipated: I no longer have any padding on my bottom to protect me when I fall. Not that I fall a lot, mind you, but on a scale from "graceful" to "clumsy," I certainly come in closer to the "clumsy" end.
I've suffered several major falls in the past few years, and one time I actually succeeded in herniating a disc in my back. I now deal with back pain on a daily basis, and any type of injury exacerbates things terribly.
It was for this reason that, when I announced that I was planning to try snowboarding, my husband shot me a look that could have melted steel.
"Do you really think that's a smart thing to do?" he asked me in disbelief. "You'll kill yourself!"
"Well thanks for the vote of confidence, sweetheart!!" I responded, stomping off in a huff.
Now, if anyone knows what a stubborn idiot I can often be, it's my husband. He can tell right away when I've got some crazy idea in my head, and he also knows that there's not much he can do about it. This didn't stop him from trying to talk me out of snowboarding, though. After much arguing, he realized he wouldn't be able to thwart me directly, so he sought to wear me down by calling everyone we knew and complaining on a daily basis about how unreasonable I was.
My sister also joined the chorus of concerned voices. She had offered to teach me to snowboard, and when she arrived at my house she wasted no time in soberly warning me of the dangers I faced. She even insisted that my husband and I come in a separate car just in case I was in too much pain and couldn't continue at some point.
I responded to her concern by rolling my eyes and grumbling.
I probably should have recognized that people were honestly trying to help, but by this point I was so annoyed with everyone that any suggestion concerning my safety was immediately disregarded.
When my husband asked me how my back was feeling on the way to the mountain, I fumed and huffed and told him I was fine. I just about bit my sister's head off when she suggested I get a helmet from the rental shop, and when a small argument erupted over whether I should start on the bunny trail or one of the beginner slopes, I had to restrain myself from forcibly ramming my rental board up someone's backside.
I had sufficiently angered pretty much everyone in our party by the time we all had our gear, so it was decided that we should stop talking and just head out to the slope. I quickly became giddy with excitement—I had made it! I was on the mountain, and no one was going to stop me from having fun!
My husband spent a few victorious moments laughing at me, then made some half-assed attempts to drag me from the rut with his ski pole. Eventually I swallowed my pride and took the board off. I walked back out to the middle of the trail and started again.
My next attempt was significantly better and resulted in only a few falls. Before long I had made it to the bottom of the hill and was mounting the lift to try the slope again. I was excited to be getting the hang of it, but I had to admit that my sister had been right about one thing—I was falling a lot, and by the time an hour had passed, I was feeling quite beat up and sore.
My back was hurting in the usual places, and my shoulders and neck were cramping and burning. Nevertheless, I pushed on—learning to snowboard was exhilarating! My hubby stuck with me as I repeatedly tumbled in the snow, even though he would much rather have been swishing down the advanced slopes on his skis. I was extremely grateful for his company, especially since I had been such a crabby-ass earlier.